Kaizen
Search
Social Media

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Contact
This form does not yet contain any fields.
    Wednesday
    Feb152017

    Review: 2017 Lexus NX Turbo

    Drivers in San Jose refuse to compromise, which is why Silicon Valley residents time and again turn to Lexus as their automaker of choice. Timeless design, unrivaled performance, the latest in tech and safety are just a few reasons why it’s a perennial favorite.

    One shining example is the 2017 Lexus NX Turbo, a small luxury crossover with a turbocharged engine and a whole lot of personality. Read on for our full review:

    Safety

    The 2017 NX is a favorite of major safety organizations. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named it a Top Safety Pick+ after it earned perfect scores on all tests. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave it a best possible 5-Star Overall Rating.

    The NX Turbo was built with a rigid body structure with crumple zones, advanced Anti-Lock Braking System with Brake Assist, LED fog lamps and taillights, Direct Tire Pressure Monitor System, Hill-Start Assist Control, eight airbags, Smart Stop technology, Lexus Enform Safety Connect, and backup camera with dynamic gridlines. You also have the option to add a Pre-Collision System with Brake Assist, Blind Spot Monitor, rain-sensing wipers, Lane Departure Alert, Intuitive Parking Assist, and Intelligent High-Beam Headlamps.

    Features

    Each model of the NX has standard power adjustable seats, dual-zone climate control, leather accents, Lexus Display Audio with 7-inch display, voice recognition, and configurable screen. Also standard are Lexus Enform Remote, Siri Eyes Free, HD Radio with iTunes tagging, weather and traffic, Bluetooth connectivity, SmartAccess key fob, and Scout GPS Link navigation that gives you real-time traffic updates, personalized commute times, and automatic traffic avoidance.

    Optional features on the NX Turbo include Lexus Enform Destinations, Enform App Suite, 10-speaker Lexus Premium Sound System, and Qi wireless phone charging tray. The available Remote Touchpad lets you control entertainment and convenience features just like you would on your smartphone, with a swipe, flick, or pinch of your fingers.

    Interior

    This five-passenger crossover has almost 43 inches of legroom in the front, 36.1 inches in the rear, and about 38 inches of headroom, making it a roomy crossover which makes good use of its space. The NX Turbo features NuLuxe seating, a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat, 8-way power adjustable passenger seat, Lexus Personalized Settings, self-gripping cupholders, 60/40 split folding rear seats, Lexus Memory System, and generous cargo and storage space. You also have the option to add power folding and reclining rear seats, leather accents, outer-sliding moonroof, heated and ventilated seating, perforated leather-trimmed interior.

    Engine

    The 2017 NX Turbo is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine that makes 235 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, mated to a continuously variable transmission. This model has a powerful yet efficient engine, getting an EPA-estimated 22 MPG city and 28 MPG highway. You also have the option between front- or all-wheel drive.

    Pricing

    Starting at $35,285 MSRP

    Wednesday
    Feb082017

    Comparison: 2017 Lexus IS vs 2017 BMW 3-Series

    San Jose Comparison Lexus IS vs BMW 3 Series

    If you live in San Jose and are in the market for a luxury sedan with distinctive design, a full suite of features, and a sub-$40K price tag, you’ve got a few solid options. Add to your requirements a standard turbocharged engine, and the choices narrow a bit.

    In the battle between the 2017 Lexus IS and the 2017 BMW 3-Series, one clearly stands out as a better value when you take into consideration standard versus add-on features. Read on for our full review to see which comes out ahead:

    Features

    Lexus IS

    While the IS has a slightly higher MSRP than the 3-Series, it more than makes up for it in standard entertainment and safety features. Each model is equipped with power adjustable seats, moonroof, HID headlights, LED daytime running lights and fog lights, push-button start, keyless entry, Bluetooth connectivity, and Siri Eyes Free Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. The Lexus Enform infotainment system includes a 7-inch VGA screen, USB and auxiliary inputs, and an 8-speaker audio system. You can also choose from a number of premium features that include navigation, 15-speaker Mark Levinson audio, heated steering wheel, and leather interior.

    BMW 3-Series

    The 2017 3-Series has standard faux leather seating, manually adjustable front seats, climate control, and infotainment system with 6.5-inch screen, USB port, Bluetooth, HD radio, and 9-speaker audio system. Available features include surround-view camera, and hands-free trunk.

    Safety

    Lexus IS

    Lexus equipped many of its 2017 models, including the IS, with the Lexus Safety System+. This suite of active driver assistance technologies has been honed over the years by Lexus engineers. While similar systems are usually available on luxury automobiles, they also tend to cost extra, but not when you choose the IS. You and your family will appreciate the Pre-Collision System (PCS), Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with Steering Assist, Intelligent High Beam, and High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.

    BMW 3-Series

    Surprisingly, the 3-Series does not have an option for driver assistance technologies. It does feature airbags, active head restraints, and post-collision sensors that turn off electrical systems in the event of a collision. However, the IS comes with most of these features, in addition to a suite of accident prevention tech.

    Engine

    Lexus IS

    The 2017 IS has a standard 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The base engine makes 241 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, and gets up to 32 MPG.

    BMW 3-Series

    The 3-Series also has a standard 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine, with the choice between a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission. The base powertrain only delivers 180 horsepower and 200 lb-ft of torque.

    Wednesday
    Jan252017

    Review: 2017 Lexus GS 350

    San Jose Review 2017 Lexus GS350

    Drivers in San Jose are smart. They’re not fooled by luxury European brands that are all style and little substance (that is, unless you’re willing to pay for several packages of add-ons).

    That’s why residents of Silicon Valley love the 2017 Lexus GS 350, a luxury sedan that has the latest in tech, a powerful engine, and classic styling from the Japanese automaker – all at a price starting around $50,000. Take one out for a test drive, but first, read our full review:

    Features

    The Lexus Enform infotainment system has become one of the best available systems, and it’s standard on each model of the GS. Better yet? That includes the Enform App Suite, Service Connect, Safety Connect, and Remote. Your tunes have never sounded better than when you listen through the 12-speaker premium audio system, and you’ll have everything at the tips of your fingers with AM/FM radio, HD radio, MP3, Bluetooth, and smartphone connectivity. Always know where you stand with the voice-activated navigation system with 12.3-inch display, which gives you traffic and weather updates, 3D city views, and views of approaching highway junctions.

    Optional features include heated and ventilated front seats, rear audio and climate controls, semi-aniline leather seating, 16-way driver's sport seat, navigation, power trunk release, and 17-speaker Mark Levinson audio.

    Safety

    Lexus knows how to prioritize, so this year every model of the GS has standard Lexus Safety System+. This package of features includes pre-collision system, lane departure alert with steering assist, intelligent high beams, and high-speed dynamic radar cruise control. Additionally, all models have 10 airbags, Lexus dynamic handling system with dynamic rear steering, backup camera with gridlines, blind-spot monitor with gridlines, hill-start assistance, anti-lock brakes, LED taillights, rain-sensing wipers, and a rigid body structure with crumple zones.

    Styling and Interior

    This Lexus sedan is not for those who like to blend it. It has bold styling that give it an aggressively sporty look, with oversized grille, deep chin spoiler, and narrow (but powerful) headlights. Its low stance and 18-inch alloy wheels make it fun to zip around the Bay Area in style. The GS 350’s cabin is a feat of technology and design, with standard leather seating, wood and metallic accent trim, power moonroof, and multi-function steering wheel. Plus, you’ll love the supportive and comfortable 10-way power adjustable seats, LED ambient door and console lighting, and beautiful instrument panel with analog Optitron gauges.

    Engine

    The 2017 GS 350 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 311 horses of power and 280 lb-ft of torque. It has dual variable-valve timing with intelligence and direct fuel injection, and great fuel economy at up to 29 MPG. The engine is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission, and drivers have the option for all-wheel drive.

    Pricing

    Starting at $50,695 MSRP

    Wednesday
    Jan182017

    Review: 2017 Lexus RX 350

    San Jose Review of the 2017 Lexus RX 350

    Luxury SUVs aren’t always practical, with the exception of the Lexus RX. This ute was a trailblazer in its segment and continues to pave the way for rides that are roomy and luxe while remaining easy-to-drive and fuel efficient.

    This year, there are even more reasons why drivers in San Jose will love this vehicle. Here’s our full review of the 2017 Lexus RX 350:

    Features

    Each model of the 2017 RX is equipped with the latest in entertainment and convenience technology, including deluxe infotainment system with USB port, Micro SD card slot, Bluetooth, Siri Eyes Free, 9-speaker audio system, and HomeLink garage door opener. If you’re looking to add some features to the base model, your options include a 12.3-inch display, 15-speaker Mark Levinson audio system, rear-seat entertainment system with DVD and two screens, and navigation.

    Safety

    The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2017 RX a Top Safety Pick+ after it earned best possible scores in all crash tests, including small and moderate front overlap impact, rear crash, roof strength, and side impact.

    Perhaps the RX’s shining test scores are the result of the advanced features in the Lexus Safety System+, a package that comes standard on each model (in fact, the automaker has started including this as a standard feature on many of its 2017 models, because that’s how Lexus rolls). The system includes automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, lane-departure alert, and rearview camera.

    Styling and Interior

    The uniquely styled 2017 RX has a prominent spindle grille flanked by fluid headlight housings illuminated with LED lights, and a “floating” roof thanks to a blacked-out C-pillar behind the rear windows. Inside, Lexus designers made smart use of center console space and built in 18 cubic feet of cargo space when the rear seats are up, and 56 cubes when they're folded. Standard NuLuxe interior gives the look and feel of leather, but it’s not as heavy and is eco-friendly to produce.

    Standard styling and interior features include 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat, power-adjustable steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers, dual-zone climate control, and 18-inch wheels. When you upgrade to the F Sport model, you’ll enjoy a panoramic glass roof, ambient lighting, roof rails, dual-zone climate control, and the Touch-Free Power Rear Door, which allows the hatch to open simply by hovering your hand over the emblem in the rear.

    Engine and Fuel Economy

    The 2017 RX 350 has a 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 295 horses of power and 267 lb-ft of torque. It has available all-wheel drive, 8-speed automatic transmission, and drive mode select for optimum efficiency and responsiveness.

    The EPA estimates that the front-wheel drive model gets 20 MPG city and 27 MPG highway, while the all-wheel drive gets 19 MPG city and 26 MPG highway.

    Pricing

    Starting at $43,120 MSRP

    Wednesday
    Jan042017

    COMPARISON: 2017 Lexus ES 300h vs BMW 330e

    Silicon Valley Comparison of the Lexus ES 300h vs BMW330e

    The luxury hybrid sedan fits in perfectly in Silicon Valley, where drivers want style and performance while maintaining a low carbon footprint. While the Lexus ES has been a perennial favorite, the BMW 3 Series’ hybrid option has drawn some eyes as well.

    However, there are real differences between these two vehicles, so check out our side-by-side comparison of the 2017 Lexus ES 300h vs the BMW 3 Series Hybrid.

    SAFETY

    LEXUS ES 300h

    The 2017 ES earned the title of Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety after it scored perfect results in all crash tests. Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave it a best-possible 5-Star Overall Rating.

    Results like these don’t happen by chance. Lexus outfitted each model of the new ES with the Lexus Safety System+, a package of features that would normally cost extra. It includes pre-collision system, lane-departure alert, steering assist, intelligent high-beams, and dynamic radar cruise control.

    BMW 330e

    While the 2017 3 Series did earn a 5-Star Overall Rating from the NHTSA, it has not yet been evaluated by the IIHS.

    The BMW sedan has standard safety features like airbags, head restraints, and impact sensors (as does the ES). However, driver assistance technologies similar to those found standard on the ES will cost extra, and do not come in an integrated package like the Lexus system.

    ENGINE

    LEXUS ES 300h

    The 2017 ES 300h is powered by a 2.5-liter inline-4 engine combined with hybrid electric motor and nickel-metal battery module. It gets an EPA-estimated 40 MPG city and 39 MPG highway, and has a continuously variable transmission.

    The front-wheel drive Lexus ES is lighter than its BMW competitor, so it has a more effective power-to-weight ratio – in other words, it has better acceleration despite having less horsepower.

    BMW 330e

    The 2017 3 Series plug-in hybrid option is powered by a turbocharged inline-4 engine combined with an electric motor. It gets an EPA-estimated 30 MPG combined, and has either a manual or automatic transmission.

    FEATURES

    LEXUS ES 300h

    An excellent package of standard features extends beyond safety, as the new ES is also equipped with dual-zone automatic climate control, moonroof, push-button start, auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated exterior mirrors, 10-way power adjustable front seats, rearview camera, HomeLink garage door opener, and Bluetooth connectivity. It’s also equipped with the Lexus Enform infotainment system, Sirius XM Radio, voice command, and Siri Eyes Free.

    BMW 330e

    The 2017 3 Series has standard faux-leather seating, manually adjustable front seats, dual-zone climate control, rain-sensing wipers, and entertainment system with 9 speakers, 6.5-inch LCD screen, USB ports, and Bluetooth connectivity.

    PRICING

    LEXUS ES 300h

    Starting at $41,820 MSRP

    BMW 330e

    Starting at $44,100 MSRP